World's Strangest National Anthems
One thing that can usually be counted on in a national anthem is its focus on the mother country. But The Netherlands’ “Het Wilhelmus (The William),” written around 1574 (making it one of the oldest anthems in existence), doesn’t abide by even that single rule. Not only is the song odd in that it unfolds in the first person—as though the singer is William of Orange, the Dutch leader who started the 80-year war for independence against Spain. It also pledges allegiance to the King of Spain in the very first verse.
A prince am I undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I’ve granted
A lifelong loyalty.